A devastating avalanche killed 13 Sherpa workers on Mount Everest last year, marking the worst tragedy in the mountain's history. With expeditions to the top of Everest more popular today than ever before, and no government oversight of the western companies that promise a luxurious adventure on the world's highest summit, some observers felt such a disaster was all but inevitable. Lauded for their climbing skills, the Sherpas are a Nepalese ethnic group who fulfill climbers' needs, literally carrying a load that includes ropes, ladders, oxygen, food and even heated tents. The Sherpas are biologically acclimatized to the altitude like no other people in the world, but are only compensated around $5,000 per climbing season.
Source: HBO Sports